HISTORY OF COLLECTING | Corsi di Studio UniGe (2024)

CODE 106706
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The course illustrates the history of collecting in Italy during the modern age through the presentation of significant episodes, with particular attention to the phenomenon of collecting paintings and the relationship between different types of artefacts, such as the relationship - highlighted through some case studies - between book collecting and art collecting.



Aim of the teaching is to acquire knowledge on the phenomenon of art collecting in Italy and Europe in the period between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries and on the methods of investigation used to reconstruct its history.


By the end of the course, students will be able to

- describe aspects of art collecting from a historical perspective
- independently collect and evaluate sources on the history of collecting


A good knowledge of history and art history of the Modern Age is necessary to deal effectively with the teaching content.


Classes are face-to-face. Attendance is not compulsory but is recommended. Distance learning is not available for this course.

Students are reminded of the need to subscribe to the course Aulaweb.


The course programme includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

Art collecting in Italy in the Modern Age:

- Sources, tools and methods of investigation

- Analysis of case studies referring to events significant to the evolution of the phenomenon

- antiquarian collecting and collections between the 15th and 17th centuries;

- picture galleries in the Baroque age;

- 'minor' collecting in the 17th century;

- Book collections and libraries in the modern age;

- The relationship between book collecting, art collecting and artistic production in Genoa


C. De Benedictis, Per la storia del collezionismo italiano. Fonti e documenti, prima ed. Firenze 1991

Patrizia Cavazzini, La diffusione della pittura nella Roma di primo Seicento: collezionisti ordinari e mercanti, in “Quaderni Storici”, 2004, pp. 353-374.

M.T. Fiorio, Il museo nella storia. Dallo "studiolo" alla raccolta pubblica, Milano, Mondadori, 2011

I Segreti di un collezionista. Le straordinarie raccolte di Cassiano dal Pozzo, De Luca, Roma 2002.

L’Età di Rubens. Dimore, committenti e collezionisti genovesi, (catalogo della mostra) a cura di P. Boccardo, C. Di Fabio, A. Orlando, F. Simonetti, Skirà, Milano 2004.

G. Montanari, Libri Dipinti Statue. Rapporti e relazioni tra le raccolte librarie, il collezionismo e la produzione artistica a Genova tra XVI e XVII, GUP (Genova University Press), Genova 2015.

The bibliography is the same for both attending and non-attending students.



Ricevimento: Onlyon appointment: gcm.montanari@gmail.com



September 2024

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The examination consists of an oral test in which the student must demonstrate his or her knowledge of the history of collecting and museum formation and critically discuss problems related to the function of the modern museum. In addition, topics examined during the lectures or found in the texts indicated in the bibliography will be the subject of the test.

The test consists of answering questions posed by the teacher on topics covered during the course.

For students with disabilities or specific learning disabilities (DSA).

Students with disabilities or DSA are reminded that in order to request adjustments in the exam, they must first enter their certification on the University website at http://servizionline.unige.it in the ‘Students’ section. The documentation will be checked by the University's Services for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities and DSA Sector (https://rubrica.unige.it/strutture/struttura/100111).

Subsequently, well in advance (at least 10 days) of the exam date, an e-mail must be sent to the teacher with whom the exam is to be taken, including in the copy the School's Referring Professor for the inclusion of students with disabilities and with DSA (elisabetta.colagrossi@unige.it) and the Sector indicated above. The e-mail must specify

- the name of the teaching course
- the date of the call
- the student's surname, first name and roll number
- the compensatory tools and dispensatory measures considered functional
- and required.

The contact person will confirm to the teacher that the applicant has the right to request adaptations during the examination and that these adaptations must be agreed upon with the teacher. The teacher will respond by stating whether the requested adaptations can be used.

Requests must be sent at least 10 days before the date of the session in order to allow the teacher to assess their content. In particular, in the case of concept maps for the exam (which must be much more concise than the maps used for studying) if the submission does not meet the deadline there will be no technical time to make any changes.

For further information on the request for services and adaptations, see the document:https://unige.it/sites/unige.it/files/2024-05/Linee%20guida%20per%20la%20richiesta%20di%20servizi%2C%20di%20strumenti%20compensativi%20e_o%20di%20misure%20dispensative%20e%20di%20ausili%20specifici%20Maggio%202024.pdf


The examwill be conducted by means of an oral test that will test: the knowledge and understanding of the bibliography; the ability to make connections between the topics covered; the capacity for criticism and personal reflection.

Details of how to prepare for the exam and the levelof depth required for each topic will be provided during the lectures.

The exam will verify the effective acquisition of the knowledge of the history of the museum, from its origins to contemporary manifestations. Open questions will be used to assess the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to individual practical cases. The student should be able to critically link and explain the topics covered in the lectures. The ability to explain the topics clearly and with correct terminology will also be assessed.

The method of assessing the degree of learning achieved will take into account the following scale of values:

1. if the student demonstrates, through an expressive mastery, that he/she has a deep understanding of the texts proposed, the periodizations dealt with and the themes presented in class, with an organic vision, the exam will be graded between very good and excellent (from 28 to 30 with distinction);

2. purely mnemonic knowledge (i.e. without deep understanding), superficial analysis and correct but not always appropriate language will lead to a mark between good (25-27) and satisfactory (23-24);

3. approximate knowledge, superficial understanding and inappropriate language can be considered sufficient (18-22);

4. gaps in knowledge, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliographical material and topics presented in class will be assessed negatively.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

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Quality education

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Decent work and economic growth

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Sustainable cities and communities
HISTORY OF COLLECTING | Corsi di Studio UniGe (2024)
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